Bottom Bouncers For Walleye
Ever since I moved back to Michigan I have been chasing the elusive walleye but I finally learned a new way and thought I would share it with you.
I have fished for a lifetime and for me, it has come down to panfish and walleye as being my favorite fish to eat. I love catching all species but when it comes to sitting at the table, I do have my favorites.
So far since fishing around the Newaygo County area, I have been lucky enough to find find a few lakes where I can get some decent panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and pike but the walleye has been the challenge since I don't know anyone who is good at catching them.
I used to drive out to Port Huron back in the day using 1/2 ounce pink jig heads on 5 and 6 inch pearl white jig tales and did quite well catching walleye right off shore. Port Huron and the Detroit River are a bit of a drive when I know there are walleye in the Hardy Pond, Croton Pond, Muskegon River and Muskegon Lake.
I have been jigging for walleye a few times as well as casting for them but I have only caught 2 and in a couple summers, that is not good at all.
Over the years I have tried crawler harnesses but never had any luck because I just couldn't get them down far enough and almost always the weather was bad when I tried.
A few of my friends and a couple guys at bait stores recommended using bottom bouncers for walleye. The bottom bouncer is a unique system where the weight is on a metal wire that has a bend where you tie your line and a swivel that is used for tying on your crawler harness or even a lure. No matter what you use on this device you will need about a 3 to 4 foot piece of leader line.
The theory is, the metal bar and the weight drag near the bottom and your bait is bouncing around between one and two feet off the bottom.
The first morning we went out on Portage Lake that is in Onekama, Michigan. We didn't have the bottom bouncers yet so we made out own using a three way swivel. Tie a small leader line to a one ounce weight to one of the swivel ends, tie another to your rod and the other to your leader line with the crawler harness and you get the same effect.
I got a real nice 22 1/2 inch walleye on that set up and there was a storm front coming in, so I think we would have done better if the weather would have been better. The big thing was, I was finally getting my bait down where the walleyes like to hang out.
The next night we went to the Lower Heron Lake near Arcadia, Michigan. I saw a guy catch a walleye there the year before so my brother in law thought we would try this lake since the boat we had out on Portage Lake wasn't enough because of the waves.
This time we fished at night with the bottom bouncers and picked up another walleye. We didn't have a tape measure with us so this one looked 15 inches but didn't want to take a chance and be wrong so we turned it loose for another day.
All in all, the bottom bouncer system worked two days in a row and I'm sure it will produce more fish when I can get on a lake with some decent weather.
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